Joseph Fahim

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Latest by Joseph Fahim


The Reel Estate: A letter to the creator of masterpieces

Dear Mr Sobky, For years now, I ve been contemplating sending you this letter, perhaps since the very first day you unleashed El Limby on the world. I naively assumed that you couldn’t do worse, but after watching your latest box-office smash Alaya El-Tarab Beltalata, I was determined, at last, to write you a few …

Joseph Fahim

Chahine receives French Legion of Honor order

Long career of controversial but acclaimed filmmaking rewarded CAIRO: Egypt s greatest living filmmaker Yousef Chahine received France s National Legion of Honor order last Thursday in a celebration attended by the French ambassador in Egypt. Chahine, who was promoted from a knight to an officer, was given France s premier order for his outstanding …

Joseph Fahim

Hollywood shoots new Egyptian secret police film

CAIRO: Mega Hollywood stars Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal started shooting New Line Cinema s production Renditions, a thriller about the practices of the Egyptian secret police this month. According to TotalFilm.com, the film revolves around a CIA analyst (Gyllenhaal) who witnesses the radical interrogation of an Egyptian-American by the Egyptian secret police. Together with …

Joseph Fahim

The Reel Estate: No, it's not déjà vu, it's a remake!

Both the American and Egyptian cinema rely on this potential road to success CAIRO: Not another bloody remake, one devastated, incensed young man typed out this complaint on one of the message boards for the movie website Rotten Tomatoes after the announcement of a forthcoming remake of the comedy classic Revenge of the Nerds. Film …

Joseph Fahim

Reel Estate: Shadows of a missing world

Stone’s latest film misses the mark As odd as this may sound, World Trade Center isn t really about 9/11. WTC is, for the most part, a Hollywood disaster movie marketed, and branded, as the first major film about the most important incident of the new century from Hollywood s most controversial director who, alas, …

Joseph Fahim

The sweet sounds of "Sugar Street"

BBC radio drama captures the essence of a literary masterpiece News of an English radio series about the late novelist Naguib Mafouz s “Cairo Trilogy came as an unexpected surprise to many of his fans. The idea of producing an English adaptation of a thoroughly Egyptian novel like the trilogy seemed dreadfully problematic, but what …

Joseph Fahim

Playing the game of love to its conventional conclusion

Abol Naga and Hind Sabry shine in another predictable comedy A few days ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about last summer’s film “The Yacoubian Building. Unlike him, I thought the film was exceedingly overrated and possessed a faint cinematic vision. His response to my criticism was the classic reaction …

Joseph Fahim

The other Egypt

Poverty, sickness and discrimination in the country s forgotten region MINYA: Whenever the subject of Upper Egypt pops up in any conversation, images of a certain degree of poverty and a primitive lifestyle always come to mind. For years, I ve heard about the distressing conditions of the country s poorest region and the brutal …

Joseph Fahim

Series celebrates great film director

Ingmar Bergman film tribute opens at AUC I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light, Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre, the forlorn, baffled knight Antonius Block says to the ingenuous Mia in Ingmar Bergman s “The Seventh Seal. I …

Joseph Fahim

Kieslowski retrospect high point of festival

Cairo Caravan fails to draw audiences similar to Alexandria’s CAIRO: After two weeks of purely intellectual festivities, the Fourth Caravan of the Euro-Arab Cinema finally came to an end last Tuesday in Cairo. The film festival, initially scheduled for Amman and Beirut, was met with mixed success, unlike Alexandria’s Caravan. In fact, it was the …

Joseph Fahim

Alexandria event focuses on documentaries

Summer film festival defies myth that culture has no place in the sun CAIRO: Less than four months since the last one, the Fourth Caravan of the Euro-Arab Cinema opened last week in Alexandria and ended on Tuesday with a surprisingly successful round. The festival gave film lovers an uncommon opportunity, since most cultural activities …

Joseph Fahim

Living in the age of "Katkout"

An inane celluloid portrait of modern Egyptian man? Mohamed Saad is a genius. a young man in front of me uttered these disconcerting words while standing in what seemed like a never ending queue for the top Egyptian comedian s latest film Katkout (Chick). It wasn t the first time I’d heard such words, yet …

Joseph Fahim

Still the greatest

Mohamed Mounir proves he’s still got it with a magnificent performance CAIRO: The first time I was introduced to Mohamed Mounir s music was in 1999, when I listened to his album “El Farha (The Joy). I have personally never been a true fan of mainstream Arabic music, and none of Mounir s previous few …

Joseph Fahim

The mutants return for one last stand

CAIRO: Back in 1999, comic book fans from around the world were startled to learn that 20th Century Fox were producing the first screen adaptation of the massively popular X-Men books. The film was released in 2000 to rave reviews and a domestic box-office gross of $157 million. I personally was not enthusiastic about the …

Joseph Fahim

A mediocre mission by Cruise

CAIRO: The most fascinating thing that always intrigued me about films is the viewers relationship with the film and its characters. There are various types of links the audiences create with the fictional characters of a drama – fascination, sympathy, idolization . etc. The most important relationship of all, however, is empathy. Any ordinary filmgoer …

Joseph Fahim

Feelings of "Pride and Prejudice"

CAIRO: While I was thrilled to learn of the release of “Pride and Prejudice in Egypt, none of my acquaintances seemed to share my enthusiasm for the latest adaptation of Jane Austen s beloved novel. They were divided into two camps: Fans of the novel who were discouraged to see an adaptation with a young, …

Joseph Fahim

Welcome to the magnificent world of "Wallace & Gromit"

CAIRO: One of the most discussed topics in film circuits these days is the current sorry state of American animated films. Many film analysts foresaw a big surge in Animation production after the massive success of the Pixar films in the late nineties and the emergence of other players like DreamWorks, most notably with the …

Joseph Fahim

Sympathy for the Devil

CAIRO: My interest in Hitler and the Nazi-era Germany stemmed from one of the most unusual discourses about this issue in my Public Opinion and Propaganda class back in university. Part of the course focused on the use of propaganda during that time and the various, devilishly-intelligent techniques used to shape German public opinion in …

Joseph Fahim

The winding journey of The Constant Gardener

CAIRO: For decades, Africa s role in Hollywood was restricted to a mere backdrop of picturesque exotic locations. Classics like Out of Africa, King Salmon s Mines, Mogambo and The African Queen told typical stories centering on white characters, with the native Africans playing stereotypical supporting roles. Never has a movie of that period dared, …

Joseph Fahim

Love, war and redemption in the European Film Caravan

CAIRO: Film festivals have become a haven for us, the film fans, from the mediocre commercial films shown for the most part throughout the year on Egypt s big screens. The number of film festivals has been on the rise in recent years, and the unexpected and overwhelming success of the European Film Festival in …

Joseph Fahim

The hidden truths of Caché

CAIRO: Days following the beginning of last year s Cannes film festival, an enigmatic French thriller stormed into what started as yet another disappointing round, and left both critics and filmgoers in utter awe. The film was Caché, the latest masterwork from Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, which is now being shown in Egypt as the …

Joseph Fahim

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